How to move data from one PC to another

Moving data from one PC to another is a function that you will have to perform when, for example, you are going to replace your personal computer with a new one, or if you just want to partially transfer documents, photographs, videos, music or any kind of file. A very simple task that can be performed by several methods with the common goal of completing the transfer safely and quickly. Well-known to experts, we have reviewed them as a guide for less advanced users who may not know some of them.

Transfer Cable

The simplest, fastest and most effective way to transfer files from one PC to another PC is a direct cable that links both. The industry offers wiring to connect Windows computers via USB or Mac to Mac using Thunderbolt ports. A less-known alternative among the general public is to use a crossover Ethernet cable that will allow you to create a local area network without the need for a router or modem and to share files between computers regardless of their operating system, Windows, Mac or Linux.

crossover Ethernet cable

LAN or Wi-Fi

All devices in the same local area network LAN can see each other. Operating systems have built-in options for configuring home networks between devices and you can easily and conveniently transfer files and folders from the file browser itself and over Wi-Fi or wired networks. In addition to the operating system tools themselves, the market offers third-party applications for sharing files of any size, such as Send Anywhere. File Transfer Protocol (FTP) applications are ideal for moving data over a network.

External Storage – Backup

Using an external storage medium is surely the most used way to transfer files from one PC to another, especially when the data to be handled are large. Simply connect an external hard drive, SSD or USB stick to a USB port, copy the data to be transferred, remove the unit and place it on the second PC to copy the data. You can do it in the same way with optical drives (CD-DVD) or even better, if you have dedicated storage devices like NAS. Also useful for making file backups, a maintenance function that prevents data loss in the case of any disaster in our computer and that we can use to move data from one PC to another.

Cloud Storage

Another interesting option is to use cloud storage services as an “intermediary” in the transfer. It’s as simple as uploading the files to the cloud from your old computer and downloading them to the new one. The good thing is that if you have a good internet connection and the two computers have the folders synchronized locally, the upload / download will be done simultaneously which is very fast.


This method is especially recommended when what we are looking for is to replace the storage unit, but we can also use it to move data from one PC to another. We can connect the drive (hard disk or SSD) to the PC using an eSATA cable (external SATA), a SATA to USB interface adapter or you can even disassemble the storage unit and place it on the second computer.

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